Comrades 2024 Cutoffs: A lesson in gun control

Share:

After the 2023 Comrades cutoffs cost several hundred runners their medal, some changes were expected in 2024. What was the net positive gain? 487 athletes converted despair to glory. These 487 would have been cutoff in 2024 had the times not been made more lenient. However, what is surprising, is that there is still resistance from certain members of the Board to make sensible adjustments to cutoff times.

What follows are details and in depth analysis of the who, how and what of cutoffs at Comrades 2024…

Continue reading “Comrades 2024 Cutoffs: A lesson in gun control”
Share:

Channelle Makhele: The Best Comeback at Comrades 2024

Share:

When Channelle Makhele crossed the finish line in 9:28:20 at this year’s Comrades she knocked a massive 2h15 minutes off her debut run in 2019. Whilst this is an impressive achievement, it was only good enough to earn her 124th position on the most improved list. However, it’s her response to her DNF in 2023 that earns her the accolade of best comeback at Comrades 2024.

Channelle’s 2023 run is documented here: The Nightmare on Epworth Street (Safety negligence at Comrades breaks bones and shatters dreams). Her run ended before the 5km mark on the Nightmare on Epworth Street with a badly fractured fibula. Not realising the seriousness of her injury, and in an incredible feat of sheer bloody-mindedness, Channelle refused to throw in the towel and decided to try and walk to Durban. She got as far as the Fat Cats seconding crew at Umlaas Road (24km into the race) before calling it a day and ended up spending the night in hospital.

Last year I left Channelle’s story at, “One major operation later to realign the joint and put in a plate and screws, and Channelle faced six weeks before she even gets to the start line on the long road to recovery and rehabilitation.”  Here’s what happened next…

Continue reading “Channelle Makhele: The Best Comeback at Comrades 2024”
Share:

Sign Up to the CMA Today or The Grim Racist could be your next Chairperson

Share:

On the 18th of June Comrades Board member Zinhle Sokhela posted a blatantly racist message to the official Comrades Corporate Governance WhatsApp group. Sokhela was immediately asked to resign from the Board but requested the opportunity to ‘go away and think about it’. She thought about it, had a few shouting matches with other Board members and said ‘no thanks I’m staying put’. She was apparently more concerned with who had reported her indiscretion than the indiscretion itself.

Continue reading “Sign Up to the CMA Today or The Grim Racist could be your next Chairperson”
Share:

What’s New & Improved at Comrades 2024?

Share:

As someone who had plenty to say about what went wrong at Comrades 2023, it gives me great pleasure to write an article about what’s going right at Comrades 2024.

Much of the credit for the positive changes can be attributed to newly appointed Race & Operations Manager, Ann Ashworth, who left her career as an advocate to take up the position in November 2023. Under her leadership there’s renewed energy, innovation and an attention to detail that has been lacking for many years.

Continue reading “What’s New & Improved at Comrades 2024?”
Share:

Giving Comrades plenty of Greeff

Share:

Comrades is an event that involves the whole family. For most it is just one member of the family that is actually running but the entire family will have their routines and social activities rescheduled around their Comrades runner’s requirements. In households with kids where both partners run, careful coordination, negotiation and planning is required to ensure that everyone gets in enough distance to secure a medal in June.

However, for some families it’s not just weddings and funerals that brings them together. For these families, Comrades becomes a big day out and a fantastic family outing. Mark, Kathleen, Matthew, Daniel and Joshua Greeff are one such family.

The Greeff family after the Trac N4 Elands Marathon (note Mark’s 1990 Comrades shirt which he only brings out for special occasions).
Continue reading “Giving Comrades plenty of Greeff”
Share:

Johannesburg City Marathon (up in the dumps)

Share:

[MARATHON #263 / UNIQUE MARATHON #159 / 24 March 2024]

I don’t run many marathons in Gauteng these days but when I do, I usually head to the south for Soweto or Jackie Gibson. The last time I ran a Gauteng marathon was 2 years ago at the Jackie Gibson, hosted by Johannesburg Harriers (the oldest running club Gauteng), and I was keen to see what their inaugural Johannesburg City Marathon had in store.

Continue reading “Johannesburg City Marathon (up in the dumps)”
Share:

What’s in a name? (A Eulogy to the Jackie Gibson Marathon)

Share:

When I was at school, the matrics liked to roll marbles at their final assembly. The schoolboys all thought this was great fun but the teachers – and the deputy head in particular – not so much. I did not think that the deputy head’s face, who suffered from chronic alcoholism and was nicknamed “bottles”, could go any redder but the sound of a single marble rolling down the Memorial Hall was the trigger that would turn him purpler than Barney the Dinosaur after a long day in the sun*.

Continue reading “What’s in a name? (A Eulogy to the Jackie Gibson Marathon)”
Share:

Two Oceans Board member (and former chairperson) calls cutoff issue ‘trivial matter’

Share:

It is in times of great turmoil that you hope for a hero. Someone who will step forward to create sense and order from the chaos. Someone who will do the right thing when others cower and hide. Someone who will act with the maturity and integrity that their peers seem incapable of.

As William Shakespeare said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” It was indeed another William who raised his hand amidst the turmoil of the Two Oceans cutoff saga. William Swartbooi is a current Two Oceans Board member and former chairperson of the organisation.

This William is part of a Board that has stumbled over sensibility, tripped over truthfulness and trampled on the hopes and dreams of the runners they are meant to serve. If William Shakespeare were alive today, no doubt the Bard of Avon would shake his head in dismay and observe on the current Board of Bergvliet, “Some are born stupid, some achieve stupidity, and some have stupidity thrust upon them.”

Continue reading “Two Oceans Board member (and former chairperson) calls cutoff issue ‘trivial matter’”
Share: